Neighbour hits elderly man with pool cue, bites woman
A 55-YEAR-OLD man attacked his elderly neighbours, striking a man with a pool cue and biting a woman, putting her at risk of contracting hepatitis.
Ricky John Hopkins has pleaded guilty to three counts of assault causing bodily harm and two counts of serious assault in the District Court in Mackay.
Crown prosecutor Melanie Franklin said there had been three victims. Two were a couple in their sixties who Hopkins had lived next door to and been friendly with for 10 years.
Judge Douglas McGill said was "no clear explanation" as to why Hopkins had been behaving in an odd way and assaulted the neighbours on June 14 last year.
In the "unprovoked attack", Hopkins had attacked the man with a pool cue until it broke. The man was knocked to the ground and Hopkins kicked him. He had a laceration. When the man's wife came to assist, Hopkins hit her and bit her.
Defence barrister Scott McLennan said Hopkin's "bizarre" behaviour was "difficult to explain".
He said another neighbour said it had been out of character, and Hopkins was remorseful.
Mr McLennan said the behaviour had likely been a result of a mix of limited cognitive capacity and the use of illegal drugs and legal painkillers.
Mr McLennan said Hopkins had a stutter and had been assaulted in custody in Rockhampton.
He had moved to live on his sister and her partner's property in a caravan.
Judge McGill said Hopkins had previous convictions for assault, fraud, drugs and a burglary.
Hopkins had already served 79 days in custody. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended immediately.